Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).
Have you ever dodged a bullet by catching a "red flag" in a potential dating partner before you got serious? If so, good for you! As important as it is to know exactly what you don't want, though, that's only half the story. It's equally as important to watch out for relationship "green flags" that will guide you towards what you do want.
But what are some relationship green flags anyway? As a society that tends to focus on negativity, we discuss these a lot less, so let's dive into this list of positive traits that could show you that you've picked the right one:
1. They Have an Open Perspective
Is your new partner able to take on a perspective besides their own and imagine life through those new goggles, so to speak? Most importantly, do they seem able to consider your perspective when you offer it to them, even if they don't necessarily agree with you?
This is Number 1 for a reason. It's a major life skill actually, because we live in a world of relationships after all. If your new partner seems to be able to imagine what life might be like beyond their own limited selves, then that's a major green flag. Similarly, if they seem very caged into their own perspective about everything, watch out!
Having an open perspective is essential to working out future relationship problems in a creative way. It also allows a person to accept people from all walks of life and live a productive life in a society filled with so many unique individuals.
2. They Are Able to Forgive and Let Things Go
You don't want a pushover (hopefully), but being a forgiving person is very different from being someone who just lets others walk all over them.
A forgiving person still has boundaries and asserts them; however, they realize what a waste of energy it is to hold a grudge, even if they have to kick someone out of their life.
Watch your prospective partner as they interact with others. It doesn't matter if it's friends, family, or complete strangers. Are they able to let go of small things that don't matter? When someone does cross a major boundary, are they able to communicate this firmly without wanting to take revenge? Are they able to reconcile when faced with an honest difference in opinion?
On the other hand, do they get offended often and blame others for tripping their emotional triggers? Are they unable to handle life's little unfair moments without taking it personally? Do they threaten the waiter if their food came back wrong? Do they talk a lot about how unjust the world is and how incompetent people are?
Watch carefully how your partner treats and talks about others. This is how they will treat you one day. Right now, in the early stages where love is new and the brain is flooded with love-dovey chemicals, people tend to be on their best behavior. Once that starts to wear off, they will default to their usual approach.
Make sure you see the green flags that let you know your partner is forgiving early on. If they are not, then your relationship may not survive your first disagreement!
3. They Have Lifelong Friends
The absence of lifelong friends isn't necessarily a red flag (some people struggle socially or are simply more introverted), but the presence of friends whom your potential partner has known most of their life is a relationship green flag.
It's a very good sign that your partner is able to maintain friendships over the long term. It shows they have practice growing together with someone through life's challenges, even through personal differences.
On the other hand, if they seem reasonably social, but they change social groups frequently, to the point that they don't keep any close friends over the long-term, then you might want to consider why this is.
Ask them about it. There may be perfectly good reasons, but if all their "reasons" seem to be lengthy explanations about how terrible the other people are, then that's a sign that they struggle to get along with others. Sure, those people could have all been jerks...but then you have to wonder why your partner consistently surrounds themselves with jerks in the first place.
Birds of a feather, right?
4. They Guard Other People's Secrets
Has your partner ever refused to tell you some gossip about someone else? "You can tell me!" you said, "I'm trustworthy!" Were you then annoyed because they wouldn't tell you?
Well, you shouldn't be! You may have been bothered because you were curious to know, but this is a huge green flag that the person you are dating will also keep your secrets when necessary. Trust me, you want your partner to be the kind of person who thinks twice before spilling someone else's tea, the kind of person who understands the consequences of negative gossip.
5. They Spread Positive "Gossip" About Others
On the other hand, do they "gossip" about people's good traits? Does your partner talk about how nice so-and-so is, or how competent their coworker is at their job, or what a wonderful person their best friend is? Does your partner help their friends connect to others, and help breed new friendships, business relationships, or even marriages?
Chances are, then, that they brag about you behind your back, too. You may not realize it, but they may be influencing others to like you more!
This is especially important when it comes to family. You do not want a partner who only complains about you to their siblings or parents, because this creates a very one-sided picture of you and may cause all kinds of tension in the future. If this person is a potential marriage partner, this applies even more so.
6. They Pay Attention
When your partner is with you, do you have their focus and attention for the most part? Do they put down their phone and listen to what you have to say when you're on a date?
This is quite the green flag, especially in our culture of constant distraction.
Not only that, but being able to pay attention is the root of success in other areas besides personal relationships. To be able to succeed at their career, for example, they need to be able to give their focused attention to their work for long periods of time.
Are they the sort of person who has the consistent ability to focus on the things that matter most to them, or are they led astray easily?
7. They Have a Passion
Is there something your partner is genuinely passionate about (besides you)? Hopefully, this is what they do for a living, but even if it's just a deep interest or hobby on the side, does your partner have a passion that fills them with energy and gives them a reason to get up every morning?
This is a definite green flag. Some people get jealous when their partners have strong passions outside of the relationship, but it's important to know that having outside interests is vital to the health of the relationship as well.
Being the center of someone's world may seem nice at first, but it can get old fast.
Passionate Green Flags
8. They Radiate "Good Vibes"
We can't all be in a good mood every second of every day, but most people have a general default "vibe" that they spend most of their time in.
How does your partner "vibrate"? Is it usually fun to be around them, or does it feel like hard work? Does it drain you?
This may seem way too obvious or basic.
In fact, to some people reading this, it might sound crazy that someone would even consider dating a person who drains them, but remember that love can be blinding. It's possible to be addicted to a partner's presence (or simply to the idea of the relationship) for all kinds of reasons, even if the experience of being around them is actually negative in practice.
A nice, solid green flag is that you feel uplifted after being around your partner. They add positive feelings to your life and you feel better after they visit you.
9. You Can Imagine a Future With Them In It
This one is less about a personal trait of your partner and more about your general compatibility.
It's a huge relationship green flag if you can picture them in your future, playing an important role in your life. This doesn't mean that you have to imagine your wedding day already, but it's a good thing to visualize your compatibility in practical terms.
Can you see very clearly where this person's path converges with yours? Does your career or life purpose align with theirs really well? It's okay if you can't see it just yet, but it's a great sign if you can.
10. Your Family Members Like Them
How does your family feel about your partner? Do they get along?
Now, sometimes a family will have an irrational prejudice against certain relationships. For example, in some parts of the world still, people may react less than happily to a same-sex relationship. Obviously, in that case you have to consider that your family's judgment may be skewed.
One time, I was actually on the receiving end of that: I dated someone whose family decided they didn't like me before they even met me, simply because they were prejudiced. It was kind of silly and I didn't take it to heart, but of course it meant that my partner couldn't rely on any unbiased opinions from them about the relationship.
However, barring these sorts of biases, family members can offer a good perspective about your relationship partner usually. For most people, family is looking out for your best interest. If your partner is easily accepted by your family, that's typically a good sign.
11. Their Actions Come From a Healthy Place
This one is a little more abstract, but it's something to consider: What is their primary motivation in life? What is the "engine" that moves them to action most of the time? Is it curiosity and playfulness? Is it love? Is it ambition? Is it greed? Is it fear?
While you can judge a tree by its fruit in part, it's also important to take a look at its roots. This will give you a better idea of where that person's life is headed over the long-run.
If they are motivated by love for humanity, for example, that is a huge green flag. It's hard to go wrong in life when you radiate this sort of vibe because others will be drawn to you.
Don't Fuss Too Much Looking For Relationship Green Flags
Finally, keep in mind that if you're early in the relationship, you have many things to discover about this person still. If some of these green flags haven't come up yet, don't sweat it too much.
Just keep your eyes open and watch for good signs as things develop!
© 2021 Jorge Vamos